Surprising result of ailing oven
I turned off the oven after baking cherry cobbler and the entire condo went dark. No amount of fiddling with the fuse box worked, but the resident manager got the lights on again from the main switch outside.
I believe that something in my oven must have short-circuited, because after that the oven is taking forever to heat. Ordinarily I can get it up to 500 degrees in less than half an hour; today it took an hour to get up to 375 degrees. I had to put the risen bread in the oven despite the lower-than-recommended temperature (Reinhart recipe recommends 500 degree oven, reduce heat to 450 upon adding the bread). To my surprise, at the lower temperature and twice the usual time, the bread developed amazing oven spring and a crackly crust. Haven't cut it open yet -- it's still cooling -- but I'm hoping for a good crumb.
I'm too poor to afford a new oven, so I guess I'll be making bread at these lower temperatures for a while. Hope it works out ...