HDR / avoiding lens flare - basic question

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HDR / avoiding lens flare - basic question
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I'm just getting back into photography after a long break and starting to learn more about LR & PS. I've been out taking a few sunrise shots this week and would be grateful on any advice to avoid flare (when the sun is in shot).

I believe you can stack images, one with your finger over the sun. Can I do this on one of my bracketed images (before or after merging to HDR in PS)? Sorry, appreciate that's probably a very simply question / concept for lots of you but my post processing skills are very basic (but getting better!)

Here's an example - what could I have done to avoid the flare in this image (other than hood and sun out of shot)?

Many thanks in advance

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