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Mix yeast, sea salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes (Kamran Note: I let it sit for about 8 minutes).
Place flour into a large bowl. Using two butter knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size. About 1 hour. (Kamran note: If you want, you can place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator over night)
Cut dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portions backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475ºF.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda and 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 30 seconds per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Place pretzels on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Mix the 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and the pinch of salt in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and prepare the coffee glaze (recipe below).
Brush the warm melted butter onto the tops of the pretzels, once they are immediately out of the oven, sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar, then drizzle on some of the coffee glaze (recipe below) and serve immediately.
If you want to keep the pretzels (without melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and the glaze) they will keep uncovered at room temperature for up to 12 hours; just warm them up in a 250ºF oven, and brush on some melted butter, sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar, and if desired, drizzle on some of the coffee glaze.
Mix the milk and coffee in a small bowl. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar, making sure there are no lumps.