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Science behind 18

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The science behind the number 18

Many people ask me about the number 18 – specifically why it’s the magic number for a BakeSw@p bake for a school lunchbox circle.

There is a big mathematical piece sitting behind this decision but the reasons for it are really very simple.  Including, in no particular order:

  • I was looking for easy multiples of standard baking equipment e.g. there are 12 holes in a muffin / cupcake tin. So a double batch gives you 24 pieces.
  • It makes sense to keep some of your bake for your own children to eat, for example, to put in their lunchboxes on the day of your sw@p.
  • You won’t end up with any of your own bake after the sw@p given you exclude yourself from your circle’s distribution of baked items.
  • It gives you a buffer to ensure you get at least 18 even if your recipe - for whatever reason - yields less than the full 24 one day when you are baking for your sw@p.
  • There are lots of variables including the number of bakers in your circle (numbers typically range from 5-10), how many children they each have (anything from 1-4 or more!) and the number of bakers participating in any given week (ranging from 20-100%). The constant of 18 pieces week-to-week, no matter what, keeps it simple so you can plan, bake and swap with ease.
  • With BakeSw@p you always get back the same number of items in total that you contribute.  The variety of items is the only variable and this is dependent on the number of bakers.
  • 24 pieces (the 6 you keep and the 18 you swap) will give you a bounty of healthy, nutritious items to cover morning and afternoon tea all week for 2 children with a few pieces to spare for a playdate.  Or morning tea for up to 5 children for a week.  All from just one BakeSw@p.

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