Issues I recall from previous pre-holiday disasters: a) ovens not heating properly b) mis-labeled flour cannisters c)trying to let dough rise in a space that’s too cold, d) other assorted ‘an ingredient I thought I was using was actually something else’ mysteries related to the familial/holiday chaos.
I’ll just throw out a question: as far as browning goes, doesn’t the ph of the dough make a difference? (or something chemical like that, it’s been a while since I’ve read Rose’s thoughts on the issue in her books)
I don’t have any real insights, though. Sorry.
Which recipe are you using?