Your search for the silkiest, most perfect cheesecake recipe is over; when you use a water bath for cheesecake, all your favorite cheesecake recipes will sparkle and impress like never before.
Bake the crust you're using until beginning to brown and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Once cool, wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set in a large roasting pan lined with a dish towel. Bring a kettle of water to boil.
Set the roasting pan, with the cheesecake, on an oven rack and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake according to the recipe instructions or until the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees at the center when tested with an internal thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven.
Let cheesecake cool in the roasting pan for 45 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours longer. Run a knife around the inside edge of the springform pan about once per hour to loosen the cake.
Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a kitchen towel wet with hot water around the cake pan for 1 minute. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully slide the cake onto a cake platter. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.