Low-coherence spectroscopy (LCS) offers the valuable possibility to measure quantitative and wavelength resolved optical property spectra within a tissue volume of choice that is controllable both in size and in depth. Until now, only time domain detection was investigated for LCS (tdLCS), but spectral domain detection offers a theoretical speed/sensitivity advantage over tdLCS. In this article, we introduce a method for spectral domain detection in LCS (sdLCS), with optimal sensitivity as a function of measurement depth. We validate our method computationally in a simulation and experimentally on a phantom with known optical properties. The attenuation, absorption and scattering coefficient spectra from the phantom that were measured by sdLCS agree well with the expected optical properties and the measured optical properties by tdLCS.