Better Six-Week Bran Muffins by cucinagirl

5 cups unprocessed wheat bran 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
3 1/4 cups sugar 
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup (or molasses or honey) 
4 eggs 
4 cups buttermilk 
5 cups flour 
5 teaspoons baking soda 
2 1/2 teaspoons salt 
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 cups boiling water 
Raisins and/or walnuts, optional*

In a medium bowl combine 2 1/2 cups wheat bran with boiling water.  Stir to combine and set aside.

In a very large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add barley malt, eggs, and buttermilk.  Beat until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine flour, remaining 2 1/2 cups wheat bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Beat together the first and second bowls.  Add the third bowl and beat until well combined. 

Use a measuring cup or large cookie scoop to drop batter into a greased or lined muffin tin. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 20 minutes (depending on muffin size),  until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.  (A 1/2-cup muffin tin requires about 17 minutes.) 

Allow to cool slightly in pan before removing to cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  (They are particularly good served warm with a bit of butter.)

Leftover batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

*If using raisins or walnuts, only add them to the portion of batter that you are ready to use (just before baking, not in stored batter).