Ok, so I got around to the bread test mentioned in the article I linked to the other day. It took longer than I thought it would, and I ended up having to up the temperature to 450 so I could see any progress on the toast at all, but after 15 minutes, this is what I got. The lefthand pan is from the bottom shelf, and the righthand is from the top shelf of the oven. You can tell that the back cooks a little hotter than the front of the oven, and the bottom does as well. But if you turn the bread over to see what the slices look like, this is what you get.
Great. So, no new hotspots to report– just what I already knew all along: THIS OVEN BLOWS. The other side of the bread from the top shelf has no noticeable browning, but 6 inches below that rack the heating element is absolutely murdering anything near it. Therefore my hypothesis is this: besides all the pan rotating I already do to evenly heat baked goods (front to back, top to bottom), I must also flip the food over several times. Obviously this is impossible for cookies/muffins/cakes, AND pies, so clearly, I AM DOOMED. NO UNBURNT BAKED GOODS SHALL PASS THROUGH THIS KITCHEN. Good thing I did this experiment! I am now 100% more irritated than I already was.