What on earth is a baker’s gross?

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While the definition of a baker’s gross is somewhat up for debate, we have to think about this question from multiple logical standpoints.

Let’s start with ‘what is a gross?’ and ‘How much is a gross?’. A gross is typically a dozen X a dozen.

So mathematically that would be 12 X 12 which equates to 144. As this is a baker’s gross, one point of view would be that the new mathematic formula is 13 X 13. So the new answer is 169.

Pretty simple, right? Wrong.

A gross might work with a dozen, but bakers famously have their own term for dozen. On top of this, the term ‘short dozen’ might also be involved in the grand total of what a baker’s gross is.

The mathematical formula could be a range of things as bakers could use a short dozen instead which is 10. This means, logically, there are three different formulae to look at.

  • A dozen of a bakers dozen : 12 X 13 = 156
  • A short dozen of a bakers dozen : 10 X 13 = 130
  • A bakers dozen of a bakers dozen : 13 x 13 = 169

Personally, I believe that the most likely answer would be the latter. A baker’s dozen of a baker’s dozen makes the most sense to be the definition of a baker’s gross.

After all, a gross is from the French words Grosse douzaine which translates into ‘large dozen’ so one would assume that a baker’s gross would take the largest possible values which in this situation would be a baker’s dozen.

That makes the likelihood of a baker’s gross being related to a ‘short dozen’ a lot lower which means it is a choice between being either a dozen of a baker’s dozen or a baker’s dozen of a baker’s dozen.

For those of you completely foreign to the idea of bakers having their own measurements, a baker’s dozen is 13.

This is most likely from the 16th century when bakers would sell their products to retailers by the dozen and add an extra product as a representation of the retailer’s profits.

If you’re intrigued by this article and want to know more about baking in general, feel free to check out our other work on baking puns and baking flour!

What on earth is a baker’s gross_Cooks Dream

FAQs on a Bakers Measurements

What is a baker’s gross?

A baker’s gross is a baker’s dozen of a baker’s dozen. Although, this is up for debate.

Why is a baker’s dozen 13?

The most common answer to this is that bakers baked an extra loaf of bread so that it would represent a retailer’s profits when the baker was selling to a retailer.

Why is 12 dozen called a gross?

Gross is a term given to the mathematic formula of a dozen multiplied by a dozen. It descends from the French language and is a shortened term of the words ‘Grosse douzaine’ which roughly translates into ‘large dozen’.

Is a baker’s dozen 13 instead of 12?

Yes. The term ‘baker’s dozen’ refers to the term ‘dozen’ meaning 13 instead of 12