Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line 1 or 2 baking trays* with foil or parchment paper and add a wire rack.
Lay bacon slices across the wire rack.
Sprinkle bacon strips with pepper if using, then brown sugar** to coat, about 1-2 teaspoons per strip.
Bake for 20-30 minutes (switching the trays after 10 minutes if using more than one tray). Bake until bacon is golden brown and sugar is melted. Bacon should be fully cooked and slightly crisp, and will firm up as it cools.
After 5 minutes, remove bacon from the rack*** (using tongs) and place on parchment paper to cool completely.
Serve at room temperature.
Line pan with parchment paper for easy clean up.
If using glaze, mix together syrup and mustard in a small bowl. Brush onto the bacon strips in step 3. Proceed to cook as per the recipe.
*Depending on the thickness of the bacon, you may need 1 or 2 baking trays.
**Sprinkle brown sugar by hand for best results and to avoid clumps.
***If you leave the bacon on the rack to cool completely, it may stick to the rack.
Bacon can be reheated briefly and cooled until crisp. It will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.