In this recipe I’m going to show you my favorite Bastille recipe that I call my “baby Bastille’. It is especially gentile and contains no colorant or additional fragrance. The light pleasant smell in this bar is the light hint of cooked chamomile flowers and rich oils.
Bastille Soap Definition
By definition a Bastille soap is any recipe that is 70% or more made with olive oil, and it is desirable and sought out for it's gentle properties. Many Bastille soaps contain a varieties of other butters and oils, but one of the reasons that people look for this variety is for its simple and usually natural components. Many people who have allergies or other sensitivities lean toward a Bastille recipe because they don't have to second guess what might be in a complex soap.
Bastille Soap Cure Time
You may have read over and over that a Castille and Bastille soap needs 4 - 6 weeks of cure time, and leaving your cold process soap for 4 months is even preferred when using a heavy amount of olive oil in your recipe. Since, this is a hot process recipe, and you can use your hot process soap as soon as the bars have been molded, cooled, and cut, do you really need to wait 4 months for it to cure? No, if you simply want to use the soap, just like any other hot process, it is fine to use as soon as the bars are formed and cooled. However, this isn't the same as curing. When the soap is given time to cure, the water has been given time to evaporate from the bar, and certainly this won't happen over night. There aren't really any shortcuts when curing your soap. Olive oil likes to take its time curing, and with any olive oil soap you will have to give it it's full cure time for it to be thoroughly done. The longer you allow your Bastille soap to cure to more mild the soap will become and the longer it will last.
Bastille Soap Benefits
As the user, the benefit of using a Bastille soap is that it is mild, gentle, and often the soap is made in a simple recipe, so there aren't too many additives to worry about if you just want plain straight soap. This is a good option if you are sensitive, or want to avoid chemicals, or just like your things to be as simple as possible. As the soap maker, when you stick to a simple recipe it gives you more flexibility to work with other additives when making your creations. By keeping the oil combination down to one or two oils there is less to take into consideration when you want to experiment with honey, yogurt, beer, or any other crazy idea you have when crafting your recipes. If you want to branch off with your recipe creations and start experimenting, its a good idea to keep your oils simple in the beginning, so you have more control over your experiment.
Best Bastille Soap Recipe
Of all my home made Bastille soap recipes, this one is my favorite and the one I cook most often. It's probably no surprise that when a person goes out of their way to look for the most gentile, mild soap they can find, they also may not want a fragrance involved in their product. Fragrance free soaps are common, but just because you don't put a fragrance in your recipe doesn't mean that your soap won't smell like anything. There's a very good chance your soap will smell like oil, and not everyone finds this pleasant. I like to slow cook dried chamomile flower petals into my goat's milk Bastille for this reason. The result is a very mild scent of chamomile tea. It's soft and subtle and not at all an overpowering floral fragrance. Many people who are looking for a fragrance free bar will also choose this smell.
This recipe makes 3 lbs. of soap that can be cut into 11 pieces at about 4.5 oz. each after the curing process is complete.
What you need:
- Distilled Water
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- 1 cup Dried Chamomile Flower Petals
- 2 scoops of powdered goat's milk
Instructions & Notes:
- With your safety glasses and gloves on set your crock pot on high and get it warmed up. Put your oils directly into the crock pot and allow this to warm.
- Carefully pour the lye crystals into the cold distilled water. If you have never done this before there are basic safety precautions you need to take when handling lye. We recommend that you read our article on how to handle lye in soap making. Dissolve the crystals into the water, and stir until the hot cloudy water starts to become clear.
- Measure the temperature of the lye water solution and the oils that are becoming warmer. When both of these are within 20 degrees from each other pour the lye water solution into the oils and mix this well with a stick blender. Mix until the water and oils are completely emulsified. This means that you should not be able to see a slick sheen on the surface of the soap in the crock pot. Put the cover on the crock pot and allow this to cook for 30 minutes.
- After the soap has had time to cook, remove the cover and give it a mix. If the water and oils have separated mix them back together. When the texture of the soap begins to look like apple sauce pour 1 cup of dried chamomile leaves into the soap. In this recipe we want to cook the flowers down and incorporate them into the soap. You can't do this with all flowers. Flowers with stark colors will turn brown, scorch, or even turn your entire batch a dark color. The chamomile flowers will melt and color the soap a natural tannish with spots of dark cherry looking color where the buds cook down.
- Allow this to cook for 45 minutes, all the while keeping a close eye on the batch so that it doesn't over flow and cook out of the pot. Once the soap is cooks and changes to a glassy Vaseline texture remove the heat and cover. Continue to stir, and fold in any soap on the sides of the pot to keep the edges from drying out.
- When the soap has had time to cool to below 150 degrees, take two scoops of powdered goats milk and mix it with 3-4 oz. of water. Blend it down into a cream and pout it over the soap. Mix the milk into the recipe well. Allow this to mix for at least a minute and incorporate it completely into the soap. At this stage you can sprinkle in more flowers if you want the bar to have a contrasting look with soft cooked petals and uncooked petals, but you don't have to over do it.
- Transfer the soap into a mold and sprinkle the top with chamomile. Allow this 24 hours to harden and then cut into 11 pieces. You soap is ready to use, but for best results set t aside to cute for 4 - 6 weeks.
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