Karl Watson’s Front Nose Pretzel at Hummus Hideout
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
Skateboarding is constantly growing—that’s a fact. Not only is it growing to a level of insanity previously not thought possible (for proof, get on Instagram and watch The Berrics’ day-long marathon of inconceivably rad hardflips), but it is expanding horizontally, as well.
Allow me to unpack that statement: skateboarding is currently undergoing an interdisciplinary expansion, so to speak. Whereas skate videos and magazines were previously the only non-concrete canvases on which to wax poetic, skateboarding has now permeated mainstream cinema, cooking (Neen and—hopefully—yours truly holding it down), and modeling, to name a few mediums.
Karl Watson—one of skateboarding’s smoothest (and most genial) operators—has expanded skateboarding’s influence even further with the introduction of his book My First Skateboard. Authored by Karl and illustrated by Henry Jones, My First Skateboard reminds us all of the first twinge of infatuation we all felt with skateboarding and provides a nostalgic, picturesque journey to share with the little ones we love in hopes that they, too will recognize the illimitable joy and camaraderie that can stem from a simple wooden toy.
While Karl’s presence in skateboarding can’t be overstated, arguably his most recognizable contribution to skateboarding’s laundry list of unfathomable feats is his frontside noseslide frontside 270 out (colloquially called a pretzel spin or just a pretzel, depending on who you ask) at Hubba Hideout. Indeed, it was the pretzel with a crunch was heard ‘round the world.
I wouldn’t be the first to try to describe the menacing block of skin-shredding concrete that is Hubba Hideout; if you want a solid history and a visual rolodex of tricks that have gone down there, check out this section from ON Video Skateboarding Spring 2001 (parts 1 and 2—the world-renowned frontside noseslide pretzel out is at 2:40 of part 2).
To celebrate the release of “My First Skateboard” and jaw-dropping pretzel spins out of chest-high hubbas, I present Front Nose Pretzels at Hummus Hideout (whole wheat soft pretzels with spicy black bean hummus). I have many weaknesses when it comes to snacking, but perhaps none greater than pretzels and hummus. Many night sessions have ended with a quick run to the grocery store on the way home to pick up pretzel crisps and hummus, only to end with me wallowing in shame when—less than 30 minutes later—I’m using the crumbs at the bottom of the pretzel bag to scrape whatever hummus is left out of the crevices of the container. Store-bought pretzel chips and regular hummus will always do in a pinch, but if you have some time, nothing beats making that hummus just a tad spicier and using a fresh-out-of-the-oven pretzel as your hummus vessel (additionally, adding some black beans will add a little bit more fiber and magnesium).
Let’s get cooking!
- ½ tbsp dry yeast (NOT nutritional yeast found in other recipes)
- ¾ cup hot water (hot, but not boiling)
- 1 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
- 2 cups of white whole wheat flour (can use regular whole wheat but taste will be a little more bitter)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 cups water (for boiling)
- 2 tbsp baking soda (for boiling)
coarse salt (for sprinkling)
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained
- ¼ – ½ tsp crushed red pepper (to taste)
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- squeeze of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- cayenne pepper (optional)
olive oil (optional)
DIRECTIONS FOR PRETZELS
- Yeast never sounds appetizing, I know. But once you proof it, you’ll start to smell pretzels without even having any dough in the room. Take ¼ cup of hot water (leave the other ½ cup for later) and mix it in with the agave and the dry yeast in a small bowl. Stir it up until the yeast dissolves and starts to foam slightly. Smell that pretzel smell? Trippy, right?
- Throw the flour, salt, butter/oil, other ½ cup of hot water and the yeast mixture into a large bowl and start mixing it up. Once it starts getting thick, knead it for 8-10 minutes (tear it, mix it, press it… the works). Work those forearms. Leave the dough in the bowl (if you want to make sure it doesn’t stick, lightly coat the bowl in olive oil with a paper towel) and cover the bowl. Let it sit for about 40-50 minutes while the dough rises.
- Now the fun part. Once that dough has risen, punch it a few times. It really helps if you go skating while it’s rising and have a bad session. Come home and take your anger out on the dough. Split the dough into 4-6 separate pieces (depending on the desired size of pretzels) and start rolling them into 18 – 24” lengths. Obviously, the longer it is, the thinner the pretzel will be. Eighteen inches will give you a puffy, beer bar-style pretzel, whereas twenty-four inches will be more like a mall pretzel. Take the ends of the dough rope, pull them into a ‘U’ and then twist them over each other to bring them down into a pretzel shape.
- Boil 6 cups of water in a sauce pot and stir in the baking soda until dissolved. Once that’s boiling toss in the pretzels for 20-30 seconds (one at a time) and then place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Along the bottom line of each pretzel, cut a small slit – this will let them split just a little while they bake. While they are still moist, sprinkle them generously with coarse salt. Heat up the oven to 450 degrees and bake the pretzels for 12 minutes or until just golden (these cook fast, so start checking on them after 8 minutes). Take them out and enjoy!
DIRECTIONS FOR HUMMUS
- This is really fast and easy. Take every ingredient other than the olive oil and cayenne (making sure the jalapeno and garlic are already diced, of course) and throw them into a food processor or blender. Blend it up until it’s as smooth as Karl’s skating.
- If you want to really turn it into a presentation, once you’ve put it in a dish, drizzle it with olive oil and throw some cayenne pepper on top for a little extra kick. Dip those pretzels and enjoy!
Per pretzel (assuming yield of 6): 175 cal, 4g fat, 33g carb, 5g protein
Hummus (1/4 cup): 90 cal, 4g fat, 10g carb, 4g protein
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