Baked Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of Hot sauce
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup Pepperjack cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, bay leaf, mustard and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes or until thick then remove the bay leaf.

Stir in the cheese and stir till the cheese is melted. Season with Hot sauce, salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a baking dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

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