Since this has turned out to be one my husbands top three favorite breads, I decided to streamline the process of placing the sticky dough into the 500˚F cast iron Dutch oven. Someone had mentioned success with letting the dough rise on parchment and then using the parchment to lower it into the pan. I tried this and it worked well except that the parchment on the sides pleated and made the crust look less attractive.
Next I tried using a large coffee urn filter and it was just perfect as a container except that it was impossible to remove from the sides of the pan and I spend about an hour with a single-edge razor until I decided that a little coffee filter wouldn't hurt us. It was so integrated into the crust Elliott never noticed (at least he didn't comment)
Next try was spraying the coffee filter with vegetable shortening and flour spray. It stuck just about as badly. Finally I lined the inside of the coffee filter with a 13-inch round of teflon-type paper and that worked like a charm. I'm sure that a round of parchment or even foil would work about as well. You need to have the pleated cup-shaped filter lie flat so put a weight such as a can of either side. Set the 13 inch round on top and then center the dough on top of it. Remove the weights and the sides of the filter will curve up. I lifted the edges of the filter and set it in a bowl to give the dough support while rising. When the dough has risen to the point that when pressed it fills the depression in slowly (wet your finger first so it won't stick) use sharp shears, run under cold water to prevent sticking to cut a deep cross in the top of the dough and lifting the sides of the filter lower it into the preheated Dutch oven.
Unmold the bread, set it on a Cushionaire pan or double baking sheet to prevent burning of the bottom and continue baking as per the recipe (do a search on the blog if you don't already have it). It may seem like a lot of trouble but it's a lot less messy and more pleasant to do. The fully baked bread