Bold words, I know. But in the case of this hummus recipe, using words like “the best” is warranted. I first started making homemade hummus a few months ago. Tired of having to pay full price for Sabra (the only brand I really liked), I decided to have a go at some recipes I found online. The first couple I tried were ok, but not as smooth or flavorful as Sabra. Then I came across Deb’s version, Ethereally Smooth Hummus. Why didn’t I just search smittenkitchen to begin with?! Of course Deb would have already tackled and refined a recipe for homemade hummus. “Ethereally Smooth” … I even loved the name.
So one of the secrets to extremely smooth hummus, is getting rid of the chickpeas’ outer shells. Ok, stay with me here people. I know this may seem like a nit-picky (huge pain in the ass) step, but, it produces phenomenal results. My first time trying this method, I put on some music, pulled up a stool, and tried to get in a rhythm of shelling. With just a slight squeeze at the pointed end, the chickpea will pop out of its shell (sometimes onto the floor if you’re as strong as I am :P). It took me about 15 min. to shell one can of beans, which all in all, is not that bad considering the rest of the recipe is just throwing everything into the food processor, and letting it work its magic. And when I tasted the finished hummus, I was sold.
Unfortunately, now I had a new problem. This hummus was so freaking good, the boy and I were going through it in 1-2 days. I decided to double the recipe. I mean, I have had a lot of free time lately, but shelling chickpeas every other day is just not appealing. The doubled recipe worked really well. Same super smooth texture and clean flavor. But now it was taking me almost a half hour to shell. Yuck. Not even Daft Punk was helping to pass the time.
Then, I read my most recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated. They had a short snippet about baking soda and heat helping to dislodge the skins of chickpeas for smoother hummus. I tried it immediately.
After microwaving your chickpeas and baking soda, you wash (vigorously scrub with your hands) in several changes of cold water and remove the floating skins.
I won’t lie and say that this method is a vast improvement as far as effort. It still takes a lot of hands-on time to remove the skins. But, two reasons why this is now my preferred method. 1 – it takes less time (15-20 min. vs. a half hour for a double batch) 2 – the hummus was EVEN SMOOTHER! Apparently heating chickpeas in the microwave helps give a smoother consistency (which I confirmed with a quick search online and checking out a previous issue of CI where they note it as a tip).
Be sure to keep processing and adding water until you get a very light color, and very smooth texture. I mean look at how light it looks! Very ethereal :)
And of course you can add in countless flavorings. The featured photo is simply one with dried basil. Or throw in some roasted red peppers.
Next on my list is sun-dried tomato.
The Best Homemade Hummus – ever so barely adapted from Deb’s Ethereally Smooth Hummus
- 1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (one 15 oz. can) or a little shy of 2/3 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3/4 tsp. table salt, or more to taste
- Approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup water or reserved chickpea cooking water
In a medium bowl, toss rinsed & drained chickpeas with baking soda. Microwave on high for 2 – 3 min. Transfer the chickpeas to a large bowl, then wash w/ 3-4 changes of cold water, while agitating vigorously with your hands to release the skins. Most of the skins will float, so occasionally scoop them out and discard. Drain the skinned chickpeas.
In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until powdery clumps form, a full minute, scraping down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until pureed. With the machine running, drizzle in water until you get a very smooth, light and creamy mixture. Scrape down the bowl when needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or lemon if needed. Add additional flavorings if desired.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 min., longer if you can. To serve, whisk in 1 tbsp. or more of water if the hummus has thickened. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and serve with pita chips, naan, or crudite.
Yield – 1 3/4 cups
This hummus will keep for at least 4 days in the fridge (might be longer, but that’s as long as ours has lasted). It will seize up and stiffen a bit in the fridge …
but if you want that same smoothness, just whisk in some water.