Both of my kids, who are grown and cooking for themselves now, never tired of this dish. In truth, the best part was always the little piece of toast that came from the cutout circle in the middle of the bread, where the yolk peeks through. Jonah, my youngest, was very happy when I buttered an extra slice of bread, cut it into little pieces, and toasted it, so he could have more crispy toast for dipping in the yolk. This recipe calls for only 1 egg per person. You can cut a larger hole in each bread slice and cook 2 eggs inside.
6 bread slices (white, wheat, Italian, sourdough, potato, English muffins)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
4 organic, free-range eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Using a knife or a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut a circle out of the center of 4 of the bread slices. Cut the crusts off the other 2 slices and cut each into 4 pieces.
Choose 1 large or 2 medium heavy-bottomed skillets that will hold all the bread, including extra toasts. Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan(s). Place the bread with the holes in the pan(s) and crack 1 egg into each hole. Place the little pieces of bread, including the circles, around the slices. Using a spatula, lightly push down on all of the bread so it absorbs the butter.
Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Uncover and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the outside edges of the pan(s) to melt it. Using a spatula, turn the little pieces of bread and the circles over, tilting the pan slightly so the butter runs underneath the bread. Brown the other side of the bread and cook until the yolks are done to your liking, about 5 minutes for medium-cooked yolks. If the toasts are browned before the eggs are cooked, remove them and set aside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.