I'm here not questioning that a second rising (a.k.a. proofing) of a wet dough is necessary. It is, or else you'll get what someone termed "elephant skin".
But I am baking a wet dough too frequently to appreciate a counter that needs cleaning so often.
Is there a way to second-rise (a.k.a. proof) a wet dough in the same container?
The basic steps (I use) are (video):
- First Rise (a.k.a. bulk rise) Mix (by a spoon works well; unlike a traditional drier dough, the heat from your fingers is not needed). Let rise/ferment for 12+ hours. I started with a flour:water weight ratio of 1:1, but that invariably remains too wet all the way. I'm working my way down and am at 10 parts flour to 9 parts water. I'm also working my way considerably up from what Jim Lahey @Sullivan St Bakery suggested, and am at 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast for each 400g flour (that's just under 1lb=453.6g) to get improved puffing with nice big pockets of air.
- Second Rise (a.k.a. proofing) Pour on a floured clean surface. Shape (again, with your hands or with utensils). Fold to create seams where it will open (or else slice the top after pouring into the preheated container). Let rise for 1-3 hours.
- Baking Transfer the dough to a preheated closed heavy container. It's nice if you dust (flour, cornmeal, ..) on top.
The critical steps to save cleaning are "pour" and "transfer". Pouring (step 2) means to pour the dough as a lump. Transfering (step 3) means to carry the dough to the preheated baking vessel.