Preheat the oven to 425°F. Oil a baking sheet.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in most of the buttermilk. Mix together well using your hands. The dough should be soft but not too wet. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly. Shape into an 8-inch circle. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and cut a cross into the top with a sharp knife.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm.
Adapted from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1445467887/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1445467887&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20">"The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook,"</a> published by Parragon Books.