There is a technique of making bathed bread. For it, the dough is kneaded as usual, then shaped into a boule, bound in cheesecloth, and submerged in water for the first proofing.
When it floats up, it's considered ready. It is then shaped, final-proofed and baked. There is no knockdown and second proof before shaping.
This is a home technique, I've never heard of it being used professionally.
I realize that it's a convenient way for novice bakers to judge when their dough is fermented. But is this the only advantage? Does the technique somehow change the quality of the prepared bread?