This Baked Mac and Cheese is cheesy on the inside, crispy on the outside, heavy on the OMG yum factor. It’s my take on the recipe from The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science cookbook.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 2-3 slices white bread, toasted
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 1/2 pounds cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces American, Gruyere, or any other smooth melting cheese, grated or cut into chunks
- 2 eggs, beaten
- PREP: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour the macaroni into a large bowl and cover with hot water and stir in a big pinch of salt. Let the noodles soak for about 30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- BREADCRUMBS: Melt two tablespoons of the butter. Pulse the bread through a food processor, and add the butter. Set aside.
- SAUCE BASE: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden blonde. Add the evaporated milk and whole milk, very slowly, whisking constantly to achieve a nice smooth, thick sauce. Stir in the mustard. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat to add the cheeses – stir until melted. Season to taste.
- GET READY TO BAKE: Whisk about a cup of sauce with the eggs in a separate bowl (to increase the temperature of the eggs gradually). Once combined, add that egg mixture in with the rest of the sauce. Add the drained macaroni and stir to combine. Pour into a greased rectangular or square baking dish.
- BAKE: Top with the breadcrumbs, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes to get the breadcrumbs toasty and nice. Serve with salt, pepper, hot sauce, or whatever you like with your baked mac and cheese.
Because it’s a BAKED mac and cheese, and because of the eggs, it does indeed BAKE and it isn’t an ooey-gooey velveeta-like bomb like you might be imagining. It’s cheesy, but it also bakes into more of a pie, something that you can cut almost into slices. This is supposed to be more crispy and casserole-y than your standard shells and cheese situation. If you love the idea of the ooey-gooey bomb, I’d suggest omitting the eggs (those are what help it set), adding a little extra milk to the sauce, and baking it for just long enough to get the breadcrumbs toasty.