questions: punching dough, letting it rest and scoring
I read in some of the books I have and on different sites of how you should punch the dough down after it has risen. Some, however, say to handle the dough gently; to push down to deflate it, don't punch it. Opinions of does it matter how it is done?
Other question, some books and sites don't mention resting the dough. You remove it from the first rise, and some state to cover it and let it rest, then after 10-20 can divide the loaf, if you are making enough for two loaves, and do the shaping to fit into the baking pan, cover and set aside for the second rise (my cast iron loaf pan arrived yesterday, Yeah!, going to try it out tomorrow).
Last question. More curiosity than question; I have read mainly the two books I bought that I see as the most knowledgeable, Baker's Apprentice and the King Arthur cookbook and they both mention scoring the dough. Other sites mention also scoring it. But some general books that I have that were given to me that have bread recipes don't mention either resting and/or scoring bread, even though my "professional" books do.
One has a recipe for old fashioned bread and doesn't mention resting or scoring, which had me going huh? To me, those are should be done if you want a great loaf of bread.