Hand Over That Baker's Dozen, Or Risk Hard Labor.

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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