Cover with water at 2 inches above the level of the beans.
Bring water to boil.
Add bay leaves.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Check periodically, adding extra water if necessary so beans do not dry out or stick to pot.
Allow beans to cook until they are soft enough for your taste. Add salt.
Drain excess water if necessary.
To check for softness, take a couple of beans out from your pot and squeeze them between your thumb and pointer finger. If beans press easily, they are finished. If they feel hard in the middle, they need more time.