For a homemade mac and cheese that's "really gouda!" try this sourdough bread crumb-topped version with a creamy cheese sauce made from sharp Cheddar and smoked Gouda.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 (3/4 inch thick) slices sourdough bread, or more to taste
- cooking spray
- 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
- 4 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups freshly grated smoked Gouda cheese
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 ½ cups whole milk, divided
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter on a griddle over medium-high heat. Add bread and cook until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain macaroni and transfer to a large bowl.
- Place cooled toast in a resealable bag and slowly crush with the bottom of a saucepan or a rolling pin. Set bread crumbs aside.
- Mix Cheddar and Gouda cheeses together and divide into 4 equal piles.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- While butter is melting, whisk 1 cup milk and cornstarch together in a bowl until cornstarch has dissolved. Add milk-cornstarch mixture to the melted butter. Gradually mix in remaining 1/2 cup milk and half-and-half. Cook, whisking continuously, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a milkshake, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 piles of cheese, one at a time, whisking after each addition until cheese has completely melted.
- Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and mix to coat. Transfer 1/2 of the mac and cheese mixture to the reserved baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 pile of cheese over top. Evenly distribute the rest of the mac and cheese mixture into the pan, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with reserved breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.