1 stick butter
6 slices of good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups (aobut 18 oz) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (aobut 8 oz) grated Gruyere
1 pound elbow macaroni
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 375. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish, set aside. Place bread in medium bowl. In small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Pour butter into bowl and toss. Set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining butter in another pot - when butter bubbles, add flour. Cook & stir for 1 minute.
While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles & thickens.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, peppers, 3 cups cheddar and 1.5 cups Gruyere, set aside.
Fill saucepan with water and boil. Add macaroni, cook 2-3 minutes LESS than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Transfer macaroni to colander; rinse under cold running water, and drain well.
Pour macaroni into prepared dish. Stir in sauce and mix well. Sprinkle remaining cheeses and bread crumbs over top - bake until browned on top - 45-60 minutes (I watch for the bread croutons to get brown and then I cover it for the remainder of the cooking time - nobody likes a black crouton).