We present a method for the determination of the absorption coefficient of turbid media in a broad wavelength range with high spectral resolution using a dual step method. First, the reduced scattering coefficient is determined for a few wavelengths with spatially resolved reflectance measurements. The reduced scattering coefficient for the intermediate wavelengths is interpolated by fitting a power law. Second, the absorption coefficient is obtained from measurements of the total reflectance using the a priori knowledge of the reduced scattering coefficient. By applying a white light source and a spectrometer to measure the total reflectance, the absorption coefficient is determined with a high spectral resolution. The methodology is verified by comparing the absorption coefficients determined by the spatially resolved reflectance measurements with those obtained by the dual step method. The influence of an unknown refractive index and phase function on the determination of the optical properties is investigated. In addition, the optical properties of Intralipid/ink phantoms and the fat layer of porcine rind were determined. The absorption coefficient of the investigated phantoms varying by four orders of magnitude could be determined with an average error of less than 10%.