In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, sugar, salt and half of the flour; beat well. Beat in the remaining flour a little at a time until a stiff dough is formed. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 230 degrees C. Lightly grease a baking tray.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 pieces. Roll pieces out into long sticks and form into pretzel shape. Place pretzels on prepared baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.