It got me wondering about that phrase - A baker's dozen. So, never one to deny satisfying my curiosity, I pulled out a small book I keep handy in my desk drawer and found the following...I paraphrase:
"By the middle of the Twelfth Century London baker had formed an official brotherhood which later split into the Company of Brown Bakers and the Company of White Bakers. A law passed in 1266 stipulated that exactly eighty loaves of bread were to be baked from a standard sack of flour. If found selling underweight loaves (thereby getting more loaves from the sack) there were dire consequences.
So bakers added an extra loaf of bread for every twelve they sold to make up for any underweight loaves. Small price to pay since they could have their ear nailed to their shop's window if caught under-weighing their loaves of bread.
That information came from an interesting book called The Book of totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees. And my friend's name is Vivra Bean. You can check out her blog & book here:
Now...aren't you glad you stopped to read this?