Disclaimer: In all honesty, this recipe is based on a recipe I found in Susan Miller Cavitch’s book years ago, but as I lost that book 5 years ago in a move, and the recipe has since been combined with my great-grandmother’s recipes, so credit goes to Ms. Cavitch and to my great-grandmother Sutton. (Needless to say my great-grandmother wasn’t soaping with olive and coconut oils!)
Vegan note: this soap is NOT vegan friendly at all. I apologize!
This is my (modern) farm soap. The scent is BB’s Oatmeal, Milk & Honey scent which is easily my favorite soap scent EVER. It’s strong yet subtle and lasts forever. It’s also very unisex. I recommend using an earthy scent because beeswax and lanolin have very smoky, earthy scents naturally, so pink sugar or strawberry won’t quite go with this…
For anyone who has not worked with lanolin or beeswax before, these oils make VERY hard bars of soap. They also trace VERY quick. You can go from soup to sludge in a few minutes. So bear that in mind when adding egg yolks & scent.
This is lanolin. It is the oil stripped from sheep wool once they sheer them:
Why egg yolks? Why not? The idea behind them is that they add a rich, moisturizing quality to the soap. Truly with milk, lanolin and eggs, this soap is very nice on your skin. I think Cavitch’s recipe had a bunch of exfoliants in it which I left out because I personally like to either pamper or scrub. Not both! This recipe, as I mentioned, is a blending of two recipes. If that breaks any rules, I will totally take it down.
15 oz. olive oil
16 oz. coconut oil
23 oz. beef tallow (see notes below)
4 oz. lanolin
2 oz. beeswax
3 egg yolks
1.5 - 2oz. fragrance oil
8.10 oz. sodium hydroxide*
16 oz. water
6 oz. milk (I use skim cow milk that we drink, lol… but this is optional. If you want a pure white bar of soap, exclude the milk and just use 19oz. of water. I make this without milk when sending to my grandmother because her mother would roll in her grave if she saw me “wasting” milk on soap!)
Note: Mix the lye and water as usual and allow to cool to around 100F. Right before you are going to add the lye to the oils, add the milk to the lye and stir well to combine. It’ll turn a funky yellowish-orange color, but don’t worry. It may also give off an ammonia smell. Again, don't worry, it's normal! Pour immediately into the oils so that it doesn’t have time to totally curdle the milk. See below for the egg yolk instructions.
Adding milk to the lye right before you begin to soap:
Tutorial for anyone interested in adding egg yolks to soap:
First and foremost, your yolks MUST be room temperature! Cold eggs will curdle no matter how much you temper them, trust me. The night before I am going to soap, I set however many eggs I want out on the kitchen counter. I use 3 for this recipe, but you can use anywhere from 1-4, I think. Any more than four and it might get funky…
Before you start soaping, separate your eggs (you do not need nor want the whites). I put my yolks in a glass measuring cup and whisk them so that you have a cohesive mixture. Set aside:
Melt your oils as usual. When everything has reached the appropriate temperatures**, remove 1c. of the oil mixture and add to the eggs, whisking constantly until well blended. This is tempering the eggs so that they don’t curdle or scramble. Set aside.
Remove about a cup (it doesn't have to be exact) of oils:
Whisking the oil & eggs:
Add the lye to the main pot of oils and mix soap until light trace. Add any fragrance, colors, and the egg & oil mixture. Mix well until full trace. Make sure you mix constantly and well after adding eggs. You do not want pieces of scrambled egg in your soap. Voila! Egg soap! Sadly, I do not have a picture of me adding the yolks to the soap because you have to stir continuously and I ran outta hands!
Soap in mold. I put oatmeal on top to give it a neat look, inspired by Addictedtosoap's lovely creations:
You may add egg yolks to any soap, really. I like it in this recipe for the kitsch value.
* I ran this through The Sage’s lye calculator, but as with any recipe from the internet, double-check it!
**This is one of the few recipes where I say lower temperatures are critical. You don’t want to go too low because of the beeswax, but you don’t want to be higher than, say, 110F because the eggs will curdle, no matter how well you temper them.
Notes on beef tallow: If you do not like the idea of working with tallow, or cannot get your hands on any, you can make this soap with palm oil, lard or veggie shortening and it’s just as nice. If the idea of rendering your own tallow makes your stomach churn (I’ve done it a few times in the past and all I can say is *shudder*), http://www.coloradoorganics.net
sells pre-rendered tallow that is ready for soaping! They deliver anywhere in the country. Occasionally “ethnic” grocery stores have it; I used to be able to buy it at an Afrikaans market when I lived downtown.