Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the bacon in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until the bacon is barely crisp and browned, 15–20 minutes. Carefully drain off and discard the fat from the baking sheet.
Brush 1 Tbsp of the maple syrup over the bacon strips and sprinkle with half of the pepper. Bake until the bacon is glazed and shiny, about 2½ minutes. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, turn the slices. Brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp syrup and sprinkle with the remaining pepper. Bake until glazed and shiny, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a platter. Let stand for 2–3 minutes. The bacon will firm up and become extra-crispy. Serve warm.