Shred cheese and set aside allowing the cheese to come to room temperature, which will help it to melt better.
Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions for al dente pasta.
In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk with soy sauce, onion powder, dry mustard, paprika, bay leaf, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir to combine. Return the sauce to a simmer and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove saucepan from heat, discard the bay leaf, and add the shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and no lumps remain.
Add the butter to the cheese sauce and stir until completely melted inches.
Drain the macaroni (but don't rinse), and return to pot.
Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir until everything is coated. Cover pot and allow it to sit for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.