For the pretzels: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Add the honey and yeast to the warm water in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Add the bread flour, wheat germ, if using, baking powder, table salt and 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour to a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and combine.
Add the yeast mixture and the melted butter and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, add some of the remaining flour. Mix on low speed to knead the dough until it becomes stretchy and slightly sticky, about 5 minutes.
Spray the dough with cooking spray and roll it around to oil the bowl, then cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spray the paper with cooking spray.
For the soaking solution: Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water in a large bowl or cake pan.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide into 10 equal portions.
Roll each portion into an 18-inch rope and shape into a pretzel.
Dip each pretzel in the soaking solution, turning so each side is submerged, then allow to drip off for a few seconds. Arrange the pretzels on the prepared sheet pans about 1 inch apart.
To finish: Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Brush the freshly baked pretzels with the melted butter.
When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)