A few tips for your homemade baked cheddar mac and cheese:
- Always shred your own cheese, never use pre-shredded. The pre-shredded cheese has a anti-caking powder mixed in. This prevents it from clumping in the bag, but also prevents a smooth melt.
- Try replacing some of the milk/cream in the mac and cheese with sour cream, to give a little tang.
- Add paprika for a little smokiness.
- Add mustard powder for a little tang. I use sour cream and mustard powder.
- Try diced onion, fresh garlic crisp bacon or pancetta. Toss in blanched broccoli.
- Lastly, top with panko bread crumbs, rather than traditional or Italian breadcrumbs for a flakier and crispier topping.
There are tons of good recipes available, most people probably have a family recipe passed from generation to generation, so I will not bore with my own.