At Home in the 17th Century
Because bread was so important, the laws governing its purity were strict and the punishments severe. A baker who cheated his customers could be ?ned £10 per loaf sold, or made to do a month’s hard labor in prison. For a time, transportation to Australia was seriously considered for malfeasant bakers. This was a matter of real concern for bakers because every loaf of bread loses weight in baking through evaporation, so it is easy to blunder accidentally. For that reason, bakers sometimes provided a little extra— the famous baker’s dozen.
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