This Is Why There Are 13 in a Baker’s Dozen

Hint: The origins go WAY back!

The baker’s dozen is a unit of measurement that everyone can get excited about because it’s always going to be a sweet treat. It might be a baker’s dozen of bear claws, a baker’s dozen of donuts, or a baker’s dozen of danishes. But in between satisfying your sweet tooth, have you ever thought about why a baker’s dozen isn’t actually a dozen?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the excessive measuring technique dates back to the Middle Ages in England. Back then, there were stern penalties for bakers who skimped on how much bread was in any given bag sold to a customer.  Before the rules were put in place, a baker could overprice an undersized loaf of bread and cheat their patrons out of some good ol’ gluten. If you’re going to make your own baker’s dozen, make sure you’re not making these baking mistakes next time you’re in the kitchen.

So, the baker’s dozen was born out of overcompensation. The rules required the baked good prices to directly correlate with the amount of flour used. But many bakers didn’t own scales, so it was pure pan-demonium. A baker would throw in an extra roll, or even two, just to make sure that they weren’t shorting their wheat-noshing commoners. Now that the wheels in your head are turning, here are 30 other explanations for little things you’ve always wondered about.

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