Stale bread may feel firm and dry, but it has hidden reserves of water. Its firmness is the result of a process known as retrogradation, whereby cooked starch molecules slowly rearrange themselves into a brittle, crystalline structure that traps moisture already in the bread and limits its ability to absorb more. And that’s a problem, because absorption is needed, whether you’re making a panade with bread crumbs or a stuffing with bread cubes. But you can still use your stale bread in stuffing and other applications. Just make sure to dry it out in the oven first so it can trap lots of flavorful liquid.