Speaking of DIY skills and such, I think soap and bread are two of the top "it's easier* than it sounds" things you can make and enjoy a direct, material benefit from.

For example, I used to think you needed a bread machine to make bread. Then I realized, "That can't be right. People have made bread for thousands of years."

I think the process of making things like that has become kind of obscured from us in modern life. But you really can just go out and Make A Thing.


@katwylder Do you find that soapmaking particularly saves money or otherwise has tangible benefits over buying soap?

I already make my own bread (no-knead overnight-rise); it's both tastier and significantly cheaper than buying at the store, and going no-knead means it doesn't take more than ten minutes work.

But soap... looks like quite a bit more work, and oil's a lot more expensive than flour.

@katwylder @qwertystop Hi, can you DM me that no-knead, overnight-rise bread recipe? That sounds right up my alley. :D
Also, this thread is amazing, this is what the 'net was made for. IMHO. 🍞

@AesAthena @qwertystop

Breadworld.com has a whole category of no-knead recipes, too!

@katwylder @qwertystop D: I wanna go with something tried and true and reco'd by an individual. I get easily overwhelmed by gatherings of recipes. LIke...*WAVE OF BABIES except replace BABIES with RECIPES*
But I will bookmark that link. Breadworld sounds like it belongs next to Spatula City.

@AesAthena @katwylder No need to DM; it's on-topic.

100% flour, 70-75% water. 1/4 tsp dry yeast and 1 tsp salt per 10 oz flour.
Mix dry, add water. Mix just until it comes together as one messy lump, cover and let rise for 12-18 hours. Bake as you like; it works for a loaf or a boule. I recommend baking in a Dutch oven; it helps the crust.

Water, yeast, and salt amounts are all flexible.

See nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/ , en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-kne

@qwertystop @qwertystop Re: costs-- it definitely depends on how you go about it and what oils you use.

If you just want to make bars from something like lard, tallow, or another inexpensive oil, and don't particularly care for aesthetics, you can save money in the long run.

Ex. With the oils I typically use (and 0 additives), I can make 24 bars (which last my household about 3 weeks each), for $1.50/each.

But I treat my soapmaking as a fun hobby, so it costs me about $3-5/each.

@qwertystop The other benefit to making your own soap is that you can control 100% of what goes into it.

A lot of what's on shelves isn't actually *soap* at all. (You'll notice the packaging says something like "beauty bar".) And some folks find those products are hard on their skin.

So if you or a loved one have allerigies or very sensitive skin, or you want just to avoid certain ingredients, you can do that!

It's also just a fun hobby if you like bath products and/or chemistry!

@qwertystop I'm certainly not saying "everyone should do this!" We all have different circumstances and interests.

But I get really excited for more people to know that it's an option. 😃

Well, if you want to make soap, here's a basic questionaire for you:
[ ] Do you want to end the capitalist system?
[ ] Are you willing to make great sacrifices?
[ ] Do you have a split personality?
[ ] Would you like to join a secret club?
[ ] Do you like fighting?

If you said yes to one or more of these questions, congratulations! You're more than ready to make soap! :blobcheeky:

(Sorry, couldn't resist)


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