(Note: this discussion was split from the LA board at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/972416 -- The Chowhound Team)
No torture required. This makes a ridiculously delicious loaf. Not a baguette, but a boule, of gorgeous chewy, yeasty, open crumb, with a deep golden, crackly exterior crust. And it takes about 5 minutes of actual active work to make it.
(The rest is done by the yeast and time, and by your oven.)