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White Mac and Cheese

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Serves 10


6 slices quality white bread, crust removed, torn into 1/2 pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering casserole
5 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
paprika, for topping
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups grated Gruyere
1 pound elbow macaroni


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss, set aside. In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat, when butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, at least 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere. Set cheese sauce aside.
  4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook until slightly al dente. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere on top; scatter breadcrumbs over the top and sprinkle with Paprika. Bake until browned on top, approximately 30 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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