What is the difference between seasoned and unseasoned bread crumbs? I am making a medieval dish called Char de Crabb and it calls for a lot of things that I have never heard of. For instance, saffron, white pepper (who knew?), anise extract, and UNSEASONED BREAD CRUMBS! I don't understand this. Please help.
All right, if you're going to stray from your comfort zone, you're going to have to accept certain consequences. But we think the rewards of starting to use saffron, white pepper, and those mysterious unseasoned bread crumbs will only make you a better cook in the long run. And we applaud all adventurous cooks!
Your recipe for the Old English Crabapple Pie looks interesting. In this case, the bread crumbs are used to thicken the pie, just as flour is added to an apple pie filling nowadays to keep it from becoming a soupy mess.
But getting to your question, you can make or purchase seasoned or unseasoned bread crumbs. They can be used to top casseroles, to thicken soups or sauces, as a coating for fried foods, or for a multitude of other things. Whether you want to add the flavor of various herbs determines whether you want seasoned or unseasoned bread crumbs. And, in the case of your pie, clearly you want unseasoned.
To make unseasoned bread crumbs, take very stale bread and grind it into crumbs in a food processor or crush it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. If your bread is not completely dry, slice it and put it in the oven at 250°F (120°C) until dry. You can also grate dried bread on a grater, which produces flaky crumbs.
If you want to make seasoned bread crumbs, take a cup of unseasoned crumbs and brown them in a pan in 1/3 cup of butter or olive oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a tablespoon of freshly chopped herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and/or parsley.
As to some of those other ingredients, check out: What are saffron and saffron threads?, and The difference between black and white pepper.