Makes about 3 cups.
Note: This variation has become one of the most popular variations at Zahav, an Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia. From “Zahav,” by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook.
For the chickpeas:
• 1 c. dried chickpeas
• 2 tsp. baking soda, divided
• 1 head garlic
• Olive oil
• 4 tbsp. butter
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Ground ancho chiles
To prepare the chickpeas: Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain. Reserve a few chickpeas to be used as a garnish.
To prepare the hummus: Cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle it with olive oil, and roast it in a 350-degree oven until brown and very soft. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a medium saucepan and add the butter. Melt the butter slowly with the garlic. Combine the cooked chickpeas, the butter-garlic mixture, and the lemon juice in a food processor and purée until smooth. Salt well.
Transfer to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle some whole cooked chickpeas on top. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Garnish with olive oil and sprinkles of ground ancho pepper, and serve.