Bread dough that won't rise properly is so disappointing. Cool air or old yeast are the two possible culprits.

To revive the yeast, first try introducing bit of heat. Fill a large pan with boiling water and place it in the oven on the lowest rack, or heat a mug of water for 2 minutes in a microwave. Place the dough (in its bowl) in the container with the hot water. Leave it to rise.

If that doesn't work, you can mix a little more yeast into the dough. Mix yeast from a new package with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until foam forms, to be sure the yeast is active. Knead the yeast mixture into the dough. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise.

Tip

If you have no more yeast, turn the dough into tasty crackers or breadsticks. Knead with grated cheese, roll thin, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, cut into squares or thin strips, then bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until golden brown.