When cooking delicate things, like bread pudding, the recipe might call for something called a “water bath.” But, what exactly is a water bath, and how do you use one?
To put it simply, to make a water bath, all you do is place your items in a pan with hot water while they cook in the oven.
This allows for a more gradual heating process, which can be vital to prevent any damage to the food. This is especially important for puddings and custards as they can be very fragile.
Water baths can also be used to add moisture to the food item, as they can become dried out in the oven. Many cheesecakes and custards will require this added moisture.
The following video explains how to use a water bath.
Note, you do need to turn the oven on while using a water bath. The key to a water bath is the water will make the bottom part rise in temperature slowly. Eventually, it will reach the same temperature as the top, but it will take longer to get there than the top.
This will help keep the bottom nice and soft, while allowing the top to brown if desired.
As with anything to do with heat, especially with boiling water, always practice caution.
- Make sure the area is free of clutter, and you aren’t wearing any loose fitting clothes
- Add the boiling water to the pan when the pan is in the oven
- Be very careful removing the pan as the water can easily spill