Place a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and saute for 30 seconds. Add rice, stirring to coat in oil. Add stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and discard bay leaf. Toss gently with a fork, replace cover, and allow rice to sit, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Serve hot.