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Milk Soapmaking: The Smart and Simple Guide to Making Lovely Milk Soap from Scratch with Cow Milk, Goat Milk, Buttermilk, Cream, Coconut Milk, or Any Other Animal or Plant Milk Paperback – 2008
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Top customer reviews
1) Watson discusses both liquid milk (what she calls the "cool technique") and powdered milk (the "warm technique") and offers excellent recipes and directions for both. Her method is very relaxed and while it is admittedly a hair more complex than regular CP soap, it's not nearly as complicated as some other books make it sound.
2) Watson dispels the myths of milk soapmaking. This is HUGE. She goes through all of the myths about using milk from what type of milk you need to who can do it.
Also, Watson is accessible through her website. I sent her a question not long ago and she responded to me within two days! How's that for asking the author? :)
Since I've started soapmaking, I've purchased books from other authors and I must say that if I would have started with those books, I probably would not have made a batch of soap at all, as a few that I have just don't seem to have the easy to follow instructions like this book has.
Just a note, you don't have to start with Smart Soapmaking. This book is geared toward the beginner just as the other book is. So if you've never made soap before and you're more interested in milk soaps, then this book will have you making beautiful milk soaps in no time at all.
Anne has done lots of experimentation and record-keeping on many, many batches of milk-based soap which has allowed her to de-mystify and simplify the process, by eliminating unnecessary steps that other books swear by and tell you that you must do.
In spite of Anne's caution against using the technique and the yogurt for other recipes, I do, and I have had success every time. I put yogurt in all of my recipes now using Anne's freezer method, and it produces wonderful soap, every time.
My only problem with the book is that Anne lays out both the warm method and the cold method side-by-side over the course of several pages. I would rather have had them laid out separately so that each one takes up only a few pages, by itself (less page turning while working). I see no benefit to having them side-by-side, since you would never make them both at the same time, and who really cares how they compare with one another. The side-by-side layout is rather confusing, I think, and makes each process harder to follow than if each was simply laid out by itself.
But the yogurt-parfait soap is perfection! If you are interested in trying to make milk, lye-based soap, you absolutely have to try that recipe! I would spray my mold with cooking spray, however, and put the mold into the freezer for 15 minutes before I unmold, and maybe even leave it in the mold for 48 hours. Milk-based soaps can be pretty soft to unmold.