I modified the breakout board by removing the 0 ohm resistor in the middle. After removing it, I measured 3.3volts on the GND and VCC pins of the esp module.
But the problem occurred on the unmodified breakoutboards using the breadboard psu set to 3.3v. I discovered that the breadboard psu's were causing the problem. i used a 3.7v lipo battery together with the HT 7333 and that worked fine. Later, I bought a proper bench power supply and used that. That also worked fine. I still don't exactly know what was going on but at least I have them working now.