1. Soak chickpeas in cold water overnight. Rinse and drain.
2. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the chickpeas, water, garlic cloves, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are very tender (50-60 minutes). Drain and discard the bay leaf, reserving the garlic and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
3. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except reserved cooking liquid. Process to puree. Add the reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has the consistency of a thick spread.