Mix the yeast with 1 tsp of the warmed maple syrup, and a tablespoon of lukewarm water. Set aside for 10 mins or so to become frothy.
In a large bowl, mix together the bread flour, vital wheat gluten, and salt. Make a well in the centre.
Once the yeast is frothy, mix in the rest of the maple syrup, and tip the whole lot into the well in the flour.
Add the rest of the water, and mix with your hand to form a stiff dough. It will be quite dry and crumbly at this stage.
Turn out the contents of the bowl onto a clean work surface, and knead until smooth. This will take a good 10-15 minutes, so be prepared for an arm workout!
Once you have a nice, smooth, elastic ball of dough, put it into a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel, and set aside in a warm place for 2-3 hours to prove. You want it to be roughly double its original size.
Once the dough has proved, prepare a couple of baking sheets by lining them with silicone parchment or mat, and then brushing over a very light coating of olive oil.
Knock back the dough to deflate it (basically, punch it!), and then divide it into equal-sized pieces.
Roll each one into a ball, flatten somewhat, then poke out the middle. Place the bagel onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Tightly cover each sheet with wax wraps (or cling film), and either place in the 'fridge overnight, or in a cold place.
The next day, remove the bagels from their cold storage, and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
Heat your oven to 240°C (465°F/gas mark 8).
Set a large shallow pan of plain water on the hob to boil, and once boiling, pop in a few bagels (don't overcrowd the pan). Boil for 30 seconds, then flip them over for another 30 seconds.
If you're using toppings, now is the time to coat your bagel. (If you're not using toppings, skip this step, and just put the bagels straight onto the tea towel.)- Place a warm boiled bagel in a dish or on a plate, and sprinkle over the seeds. - Then place the bagel onto a clean tea towel to remove any excess moisture from its base. - Repeat for the rest of the batch.
Once all the bagels have been boiled, topped, and de-moistened, arrange them on the baking trays, leaving a couple of centimetres (1") between each one.
Place both trays into the oven, and bake the bagels for 6 mins. Remove from the oven, turn each one over, and bake for a further 6 mins.