Your question #1 isn't what I think as basic flash photography. It's considered as a fill flash situation where you have sufficient ambient light to make the exposure but want the flash to fill in the shadow areas. It should work just fine the way you said it provided you have sufficient ambient light.
For basic flash photography I tend to think to situtation where there isn't sufficient ambient light for proper exposure and you don't want to use too slow a shutter speed. In which case you would set the shutter speed to a reasonable speed at or below 1/250, choose and aperture and let TTL does the exposure for you.
You don't have to dial in compensation because you bounce the flash.
TTL will work in manual exposure mode.

Because we shoot film and trial and error technique takes too much time and costly, using a flash meter is a good option.