Place the flours, salt and sugar into a large bowl and mix together. Measure the warm water into a jug and sprinkle the yeast over the surface and stir together. Leave for 5 minutes or until it starts to turn frothy on the top. Pour in the oil. Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour as necessary, for 10 minutes or until the mix is no longer sticky and slightly springy to touch.
Place into a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knock it back with your fist. Cut the dough, using a sharp knife, into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape approximately 40 cm long. Take the ends of the dough and cross them over to make a heart shape with the two ends hanging over the edge by about 2-3cm. Then take the ends and twist them around each other and secure the ends on the sides of the pretzel. Repeat to make 8 pretzels and place them on a baking sheet lined with nonstick baking paper.
Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with 2 tbsp of boiling water and brush over the surface of the pretzels with a pastry brush. Then scatter with sesame seeds or rock salt and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the egg yolk mixture and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving warm.
You can also make sweet pretzels - 5 minutes before the end of baking the pretzels - brush with the egg yolk mixture and dust with a sprinkling of caster sugar and ground cinnamon and bake for the last 5 minutes.
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