Who can resist anything, even broccoli, when it is smothered in a delectable cheese sauce? It's so good, in fact, that your kids may find themselves arguing over the last spoonful. I won't go so far as to suggest that this is the healthiest way to prepare broccoli, but at least it gets kids eating it! Serve this as a side dish for a big family meal, or as a supper all on its own. Either way, your kids won't be able to get enough.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk in milk, a drizzle at first, until flour mixture is no longer clumping and becomes smooth. Whisk in the rest of the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add bay leaf, onion, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste (a large pinch each). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water to about half way. Bring to a boil and add a generous amount of salt (a couple of tablespoons). Add broccoli to the pot and boil for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Mix cheese into the white sauce and stir until melted. Add cream. Gently stir in broccoli and pour into greased 8 x 8 baking dish.
In the bowl of a mini food processor (or blender), pulse garlic until finely chopped. Tear slice of bread into medium sized pieces and add to bowl, pulsing to make fine bread crumbs. Add parmesan cheese and pulse a few more times to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over broccoli mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until topping is browned and cheese sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.