4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of bread from a whole-grain boule or pullman loaf
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; when cool enough to handle, crumble.
Add the butter to the hot pan to melt with the rendered bacon fat; set aside.
Cut a piece from the center of each slice of bread using a 2 1/2-inch round or other decorative 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter (star, flower, heart). Brush the slices and cutouts with the butter-bacon fat mixture and transfer them to a plate.
Toast 2 slices of bread and 2 cutouts in the skillet over medium heat until browned on one side, about 1 minute. Crack an egg into each hole and sprinkle each toast with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan; cook 2 minutes. Flip the slices and cutouts, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes for a runny yolk or slightly longer for a set egg. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, cutouts, eggs and Parmesan.
Transfer each egg-in-the-hole to a plate and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Serve with the toasted cutouts, for dipping in the yolk.
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