Factors and their influence - a question
Hello baking friends, I've now made a handful of sourdough loaves and feel like I understand the process more fully, but now I want to get down to the nitty gritty. I've read lots of things and I still feel like I don't have a firm grasp on which factors affect what.
For instance, I (think) I understand that the longer I let my starter sit between feeding, or if I use my starter/levain after it has begun to fall, I'm more likely to be building the acid content on the starter and will get a stronger "sour" flavor in my bread. I have not played with this a ton, but I prefer the sour flavor. I know many want to limit it.
I'm curious how other factors have an effect the bread outcome. Will using my starter after it has begun to fall affect rise? Or just flavor? Will doing a cold over-night proof prior to baking affect rise or just flavor?
How will cutting more deeply in my scoring affect the look of the bread - or is angle more important than depth?
Which factors (or is it just the strength of starter and bulk fermentation?) contribute to rising and which to flavor?
I'm also have some trouble? with shaping. I always seem to have one part of my boule that "puffs out" more than the rest.
I know this is a lot! TIA :)