Put the two types of flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast over 11⁄4 cups warm water. Stir, leave for 5 minutes, and add the oil.
Gradually pour the liquid into the flour mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
Knead for 10 minutes until smooth, soft, and pliable. Transfer to an oiled bowl.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1–2 hours, until nearly doubled.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock it back.
Divide the dough into 16 equal sized pieces, using a sharp knife to cut it cleanly.
Take each piece of dough and roll it under your palm to make a log shape.
Using your palms, continue to roll the dough toward each end, until it is 18in (45cm) long.
If difficult to stretch, hold by either end and rotate in a looping action, like a jump rope.
Take each end of the dough and cross them over each other, forming a heart shape.
Now twist the ends around each other, as though they had linked arms.
Secure the ends to the sides of the pretzel; it will appear quite loose at this stage.
Repeat to make 16 pretzels, placing them on baking sheets lined with parchment.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, until puffed up.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Mix the soda in 2 tablespoons boiling water.
Brush the pretzels with the mixture. This gives them a dark color and chewy exterior.
Scatter flakes of sea salt or sesame seeds over the brushed pretzels. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush with a little beaten egg. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven. The pretzels should be dark golden brown with a shiny finish.
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
You can use vegetable oil instead of sunflower oil.