At home, in a relaxed dining situation or an informal bistro/restaurant you will not be given a plate upon which to put your bread. Bread goes on the table. Yes, that’s right, on the table. No need to balance it precariously on the edge of the plate. On the table is just fine and it’s what French people do.
You will only be given a special plate for your bread in a fine dining situation. I took this picture last week while we were enjoying a delicious lunch at one of our favourite restaurants, La Table de la Bergerie. La Table has one Michelin star and here, your bread goes on the table.
Bread is typically served with your meal in France and is not used to fill up on before your meal arrives. You wouldn’t be admonished for taking a nibble before your meal and in a relaxed situation it is common to finish every last drop of the delicious sauce on your plate using a little bread. While fingers may be used in a family situation, it is more polite to use your fork to manoeuvre the bread around the plate, mopping the sauce gently and then eating from your fork.
Butter is not typically served with bread but as it’s so delicious anyway, who needs it?