April 12th, 2012
By Paula Bowman
In a large deep-sided saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm 4 1/2-cups milk until almost boiling. Stir in pasta and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally. Watch that the milk doesn’t overheat and boil over or scorch the bottom of pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of liquid has been absorbed and macaroni is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/4 cup of milk, add cold cheese mixture, cover and let sit 2 minutes.
Remove lid and gently stir pasta and cheese until melted and mixed thoroughly. Add cayenne, if desired and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in the small bowl of a food processor, pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper to coarse crumbs; set aside.
Preheat broiler to high. Pour macaroni mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle top with breadcrumbs. Broil until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.