1 Whisk together the warm water and yeast until the yeast has dissolved.
2 Stir in half the flour to form a loose batter. Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for a few hours, or until the batter has almost doubled in size and the surface is covered with air bubbles.
3 Place the remaining flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar, followed by the olive oil, caraway seeds and the risen pretzel batter. Mix well to form a smooth dough that comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
4 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead well for several minutes until smooth and elastic. Grease a baking tray.
5 Roll the dough out into a sausage shape about 2 cm|1" thick. Form the dough into a large 'figure of eight' pretzel shape and pinch the ends together to secure. Place on the baking tray. Cover and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
6 Heat the oven to 200°C (180° fan) 400°F gas 6.
7 Mix the beaten egg with the water and brush the mixture over the pretzel. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.