Water bath for cheesecake


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I've been making cheesecake for a while, but I've never used a water bath, so of course, cracking on top and they puff and deflate in the middle. I decided to try the water bath method. The first try, I wrapped the pan in foil (5 layers of everyday, I didn't have any heavy duty) and submerged it directly into the water. Water got in the foil and ruined everything. Next I just put a pan of water on the bottom rack, placed the pan on a double layer of foil (formed around the pan and secured), and again, water got in and ruined the crust. How exactly do you keep the water out, because it IS preventing the cracking and the cheesecake is nice and flat on top.
 
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I put a pan of water on the lowest rack and put the cake on the rack above. No foil and no chance of water leakage. I put the water in the oven before cake prep and make sure it's boiling before I put the cake in.
 
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Use a oven bag, like one used to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Alternatively, you the double pan method; place the springform pan in a slightly larger pan, then place in bain Marie.

Placeing a pan of water on another rack simply produces steam, and it is not the steam that is needed.

A bain Marie insulates the pans sides from the heat of the oven, slowing the cooking.

Cheesecake has to cook for a long time. Too high heat, too long causes the protein denaturation to happen to fast to the batter in contact with pan. The sides set, but center is still raw and continues to expand.

The cracking will usually happen when the cheesecake is cooling. The set sides are already dried out and firm, but center is still soft and can’t hold.

When the temperature around the batter is regulated, the sides bake slower, do set and dry out before the center bakes.

Water boils at 212°F (100°C) at sea level. Many cheesecake recipes bake at 350°F (170°C).

When water reaches boiling temperature it evaporates and turns to steam. The water cannot get hotter than boiling temperature. So while the oven is 350°F, The temperature around the cheesecake is 212°F.

Placing a pan of water on another rack does not create that insulation around the cheesecake pan.

The other important aspect of cheesecake is a slow cool. I Actually bake my cheesecake at 275°F. When it has a slight brown edge, shut the oven off, crack the door and just leave it 30 min.
 
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Actually, after letting it cool and removing from pan, I realized the "moisture" dripping wasn't water but butter from the crust. The cheesecake actually turned out good and wasn't ruined. Thanks though, I was worried, but it
all worked out.
 
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if you’re leaking butter there’s too much in the crust.

The standard ratios for a graham cracker crust

graham cracker 100%
light brown sugar 20%
unsalted butter 25% - 30%
salt <1%

Scale: 170 g for 8” round

grind graham crackers into fine crumbs
mix with sugar and pinch of salt
add melted butter
Press into pie plate
 
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Well, I thought that was the issue a while back, so I started experimenting with butter amounts. I always use 2 cups of crushed graham crackers in all of my cakes, and I've used any where from 2-8 tblsp of butter and it always drips onto the bottom of my oven. I'm thinking maybe I have wonky pans that don't fit securely together.
 
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I set the pans on paper towels after cooking/cooling in oven, and I see that the butter leak is right below where the clasp is on my pan, so I think that may be the culprit, wonky clasp. I mean, I can see that it gets hot so hot butter does what hot butter does. Since it does it no matter the amount used, it has to be something else causing the leaks.
 
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Butter shouldn’t leak at all. There should be just enough to absorb into the crumbs.

For no bake cheesecake clarified butter is used. This evaporates all the water out of the butter first. Then mix the butter into the crumbs is portions. you want the crumbs to absorb just enough so they’ll start to hold together.

When there’s too much butter the crust gets soggy.

Did you bake the crust before you bake the cheesecake? Because that will also help get rid of the moisture in the crust. But definitely don’t use too much butter. Most homebakers use way too much butter, like 50% 70% 75% butter. They end up with the soggy crust.
 
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Use a oven bag, like one used to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Alternatively, you the double pan method; place the springform pan in a slightly larger pan, then place in bain Marie.

Placeing a pan of water on another rack simply produces steam, and it is not the steam that is needed.

A bain Marie insulates the pans sides from the heat of the oven, slowing the cooking.

Cheesecake has to cook for a long time. Too high heat, too long causes the protein denaturation to happen to fast to the batter in contact with pan. The sides set, but center is still raw and continues to expand.

The cracking will usually happen when the cheesecake is cooling. The set sides are already dried out and firm, but center is still soft and can’t hold.

When the temperature around the batter is regulated, the sides bake slower, do set and dry out before the center bakes.

Water boils at 212°F (100°C) at sea level. Many cheesecake recipes bake at 350°F (170°C).

When water reaches boiling temperature it evaporates and turns to steam. The water cannot get hotter than boiling temperature. So while the oven is 350°F, The temperature around the cheesecake is 212°F.

Placing a pan of water on another rack does not create that insulation around the cheesecake pan.

The other important aspect of cheesecake is a slow cool. I Actually bake my cheesecake at 275°F. When it has a slight brown edge, shut the oven off, crack the door and just leave it 30 min.
I wonder, why don't more people bake cheesecakes at low temperatures without water baths? I know it takes much longer, but surely that's better than having to worry about cracking on top as well as all the hassles with the water bath itself (water leaking through, preparing the water bath, etc.).
 
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I wonder, why don't more people bake cheesecakes at low temperatures without water baths? I know it takes much longer, but surely that's better than having to worry about cracking on top as well as all the hassles with the water bath itself (water leaking through, preparing the water bath, etc.).
I bake mine at 325°, then cool down in steps over more than an hour before it gets refrigerated.
 
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I don't use a water bath, but do use a lower temperature. Usually about 300 and bake for a longer period, maybe 90 minutes. Then leave it in the oven until it's cool enough for me to remove it with hands only, no mitts. Then refrigerate over night. No cracks for the most part and the cake is baked throughout.
I use all different things for the crust-crushed cookies that didn't turn out well enough to pass out, ground nuts, and saltines. For savory cheesecakes-crushed Ritz crackers, nuts, and breadcrumbs.
I have had some leakage issues, but always set the springform pan on another tray to catch anything that thinks about escaping.
 

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