Combine the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar in a jug and stir to combine. Set the jug aside for a few minutes in a warm place to bloom. You'll know it's ready when it looks creamy and foamy on top.
Meanwhile, combine the bread flour and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
When the yeast is ready stir in the melted butter and then add the wet ingredients to the dry.
With a large spoon or clean hands bring the mixture together in the bowl. When it is combined enough to loosely hold together, tip it out on to a lightly floured countertop and begin kneading.
Knead for around 5 minutes adding small amounts of flour if the dough it too sticky. We want a smooth dough that is tacky to the touch but doesn't stick to our fingers.
Bring the dough in to a ball and place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with cling film. Set the bowl in a warm corner and allow it to proof for 1 hour.
While the dough is proofing, we'll make the dipping sauce. Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the sliced scallions. Cook for around 5 minutes or until soft.
Add the pale ale and reduce the heat to low-medium. Continue cooking until the ale has reduce to around a 1/2 cup. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the mustard and maple syrup. Set aside to serve with the vegan pretzel buns.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. I also spray the paper with cooking oil for good measure.
After an hour, turn the pretzel dough on to your countertop and punch it down. Divide the dough in to even balls - I weighed mine and each was around 85g - and place them on lined trays.
While you are rolling your pretzel balls add 3L of water to a wide pan and bring it up to a boil over medium heat. When it comes up to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. When the balls are ready, whisk the baking soda in to the boiling water - it will bubble so please be careful.
Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
Carefully drop two pretzel buns in to the soda bath and poach them for 30 seconds before flipping them over for another 30 seconds. Gently move the buns around the water while they are cooking so they don't stick to the bottom. Using a slotted spatula or spoon remove the buns from the water and place them on the lined baking trays. Continue with the remaining buns.
When finished, score a slit into the top of each with a sharp knife. Lightly brush each bun with the extra melted butter and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes or poppy seeds.
Bake for 16 - 18 minutes or until a deep rust brown on all sides. Serve with plain mustard or the Mustard Ale Dipping Sauce
The Nutritional breakdown is for both the vegan pretzel buns and the mustard ale dipping sauce