Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir together water, butter and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer until yeast is mostly dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add salt and brown sugar and stir to combine.
Add flour and mix use dough hook attachment on medium speed until combined. Touch the dough — if it is still really sticky and is clinging to mixing bowl, add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time until dough balls up and no longer sticks to bowl. Continue mixing using the dough hook attachment on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes. (If you do not have a stand mixer, you can knead by hand for 5 minutes instead.)
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and use a knife or a bench scraper to cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Stretch each piece into long even ropes, about 18-20″ long.
Form ropes into pretzel shapes on parchment-covered baking sheets. To do so, form rope into a large circle, pull ends up, criss-cross (twist) ends once or twice, and then lay them back on bottom of circle for form a standard pretzel shape. Or form ropes into whatever shape you’d like.
Broil for 2-4 minutes! Be careful, the tops may go from golden brown to burnt very quickly, especially when broiling.