1. Sterilize jars, and prepare lids.
2. While jars are boiling, put on gloves, and cut peppers into 1/4-inch slices, discarding stem ends. Combine vinegar, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium stainless steel saucepan; bring to a boil.
3. Place 2 garlic halves and 1 bay leaf in each hot jar. Pack jars tightly with peppers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover peppers with hot pickling liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and process jars, processing 10 minutes.
4. Remove jars from water, and let stand, undisturbed, at room temperature 24 hours. To check seals, remove the bands, and press down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn't move, the jar is sealed. If the lid depresses and pops up again, the jar is not sealed. Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
Total time: 45 min., plus 3 weeks standing time