The Complete Soapmaker Tips, Techniques and Recipes for
Luxurious Handmade Soaps
By Norma Coney
This is another much loved, favorite book of mine. The first publication of it was in 1955. Instructions are clear and simple to follow with wonderful results! I will share one of my favorite recipes, but I would also say that it is VERY important to read what Norma has to say about equipment and supplies and how to go about things. It is important not only to ready what Norma says, but to DO it. The recipe that I will share has you working with lye, which is dangerous if you do not follow the instructions. That said, it makes an incredible soap that seems to be good for even the most sensitive skin. The soap is called Nineteenth–Century Soap. The ingredients are 44 ounces of tallow (beef fat), 30 ounces of olive oil, 28 ounces of lard (pork fat), 14 ounces of lye and 41 ounces of cold water.
For the instructions, you would have to buy the book. It is too long to put in this article. What are the results of this recipe? What is the soap like? It is clean and white in color, very mild, and it lathers well. My husband uses it for shaving. It shows trailings quickly, sets up quickly and dries well. It is hard when cured. I pour it into a plastic container that has a lid, and wrap it in a towel to keep the temperature warm and even. It takes about two weeks to cure. By that I mean saponify.
Saponi What Now?
What in the world is saponify? Saponification is a chemical process that soap goes through where the lye and oils mix thoroughly to make something that lathers, doesn’t burn you and cleans things. For instance, no one wants grease stains from meat or olive oil on their clothes. Everyone wants something that won’t irritate their skin, lathers well and will clean things. During saponification, the soap generates its’ own heat. When the process is complete, the soap will be cool to touch. That’s when you can cut it into bars unless you already poured it into molds. It usually takes about two weeks for the soap to be ready to use. You can add different scents, vitamin E, coconut oil etc. The book tells you how to modify everything.
This book also tells you how to render your own fat, how to make hand-milled soaps, and specialty soaps. There are lots of fun recipes to try. There is also an entire chapter dedicated to troubleshooting and adjustments. In addition there is a chapter on decorating, storing, wrapping, and displaying your soaps. There are easily over 50 recipes in the book. If you would like to make elegant, fragrant soaps, this is a must have.
Our review is written by a seasoned homesteader and soapmaker, Jerreth. Now I seriously need to get this book and start making my own soap. The book link below is from our Amazon affiliate link, but it won’t cost you one cent extra to use this link, and it will keep us in the homesteading lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed. Basically, tired, dirty, and completely content.